I knew my life would change dramatically when I became a stay at home mother. I knew I'd miss the chat in the office, having a lunch break, nicking out for a coffee.
I did not anticipate falling out of love with my slow cooker. Up until my retirement, my crockpot and I had maintained a loving relationship. I'd fill it with random ingredients in the morning and when I returned home that evening it would reward me with random deliciousness.
Then, just like that, we fell out of love. Turns out, the slow cooker and I can't share the same space while it makes it's magic. After smelling our dinner cooking all day, I didn't like eating come dinner time. We'd grown apart. Years passed, I became enamoured with shiny new appliances.
Our slow cooker has languished in the back of the cupboard for a long while. Then the Big Sister started swimming on Wednesday afternoons at a pool that's a ways from the farm. When the kids get home they are tired and cold and HUNGRY. So my love-affair with the slow cooker has been restored.
slow cooker osso bucco
6 osso bucco pieces (sometimes this is labelled shin beef)
olive oil for frying
plain flour for dredging
3 sticks celery, diced
2 brown onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbs tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 beef stock cubes
2 cups water
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
for the gremolata
good handful parsley
2 cloves garlic
zest of half a lemon
Add flour (about a half cup), salt and pepper into a plastic bag. One at a time, add the pieces of osso bucco to the bag and shake the bag to coat them in the seasoned flour mixture.
Heat a large fry pan to high and brown the osso bucco pieces. Transfer the meat to the bottom of your slow cooker bowl. Reduce the heat under the pan to low, add another splash of olive oil and sweat the celery, onions, carrots and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add a two tablespoons of flour from the plastic bag and cook for a further two minutes, stirring constantly.
Once the vegetable mixture is cooked, add the tomato paste, wine, stock cubes and chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine, then add the mix to the slow cooker bowl. Add the bay leaf and water, making sure that the vegetable mixture covers the meat pieces completely. Cook on slow for four hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
Before serving make the gremolata, finely chop the parsley and garlic. Combine in a small bowl with the lemon zest.
do you love your slow cooker?
what's your favourite winter dinner?